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Braunschweiger Zeitung, Germany

Only the First Act

By Marc Chmielewski

Translated By Tania Struetzel

2 January 2013

Edited by Heather Martin

Germany - Braunschweiger Zeitung - Original Article (German)

President Obama would like less drama during the continuing debates on the national budget. This wish will not be fulfilled. Yesterday’s budget compromise coercively brings about the drama of tomorrow.

And that drama will look as follows: Democrats and Republicans have until the end of Feb. to reach an agreement on two important points of discussion. Each of them holds content large enough to fill years of negotiation, but once again the clock will tick, and the cliff will appear as a threat.

First of all, both parties need to agree on expenditure cuts. The Democrats want to cut costs for the military, the Republicans aim at the social benefits — both would be difficult to implement.

Secondly, even if the great accomplishment of cutting costs is surprisingly achieved, the debt ceiling has to be raised for the short term. This can only be done when the Republicans agree — and that agreement will be politically expensive for the government.

Obama warns against amalgamating the negotiation about the austerity deal with the one about the debt ceiling. But that is exactly what the Republicans will do. According to the motto: You are only allowed to increase debts when you cut costs — and according to our ideas.

It has to be feared that we have only seen the first act of the drama thus far.



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